Welcome students and families to the 2021-2022 school year at Bedford Middle School! We are about to embark on what will be a fantastic and rewarding school year featuring engaging courses and activities brought to you by our team of kind and compassionate teachers and leaders. Last year, BMS enjoyed a challenging and rewarding school year; we were open for in-person learning since the first day of school and ended the year with nearly all students attending in-school.
In acknowledgement and response to the ongoing hardships related to the pandemic being experienced by our students, staff and school community, we will be increasing time devoted to our social-emotional learning programming while maintaining every aspect of our existing educational programming and cocurricular activities.
During the course of this year, students will have numerous opportunities to explore new ideas, meet new friends, and learn in a compassionate, nurturing and trusting school environment. Middle school truly is an exciting and dynamic continuation of our students’ intellectual, social and emotional development.
Our shared-vision for student success is grounded in these elements:
- Students should have positive and trusting relationships with the adults in our school;
- Students should have a sense of belonging and should benefit from personal meaning, connection, discovery and purpose within our wide-ranging programs;
- Students should sense fairness throughout our school environment;
- Students should feel physically, emotionally, and intellectually safe;
- BMS should be a happy and joyful place for all.
While these elements do not represent a guarantee, they are trail markers that serve to lead our entire school community--students, parents and staff--towards this shared vision in the best interest of our students and school.
Like always, we’ve had a busy summer actively preparing for the arrival of the new school year. Faculty continued to develop and update curricula; facilities and maintenance staff worked to clean, sanitize and prepare classrooms, modify existing rooms, and help create new spaces.
Our common goal is to provide our students with a rigorous, enriching and relevant educational program in a beautiful, clean and safe school environment. Below, we’ve included important and timely information to help students and parents become more familiar and comfortable with BMS. We are looking forward to an exciting and rewarding school year!
Please be aware that this welcome letter contains just enough information to open school; it does not contain all of the granular details associated with our school operations. During the orientation week, and associated opening of school events, we will share more information with our students and families.
Students’ Grade-Level Teaching Team Assignments
On Friday, August 27, 2021, BMS will send an email message to each family with their child’s teaching team assignment and homeroom. Complete daily class schedules will be provided directly to students during the first opening extended homeroom on Tuesday, August 31, 2021.
Parents/Guardians: Please be sure you have logged into the PowerSchool portal and update your parent/guardian email addresses as needed so you receive communications from the school
Families will miss critical and timely communications from BMS if you do not verify that your email addresses and contact information is updated in the PowerSchool portal for parents/guardians. For assistance visit: https://bms.westportps.org/parents/parent-tech-help
To reset your parent portal passcode, please visit: WPS Parent Password Manager
ALERT: PHYSICAL EXAM DOCUMENTATION REQUIRED FOR ALL RISING 7th GRADE STUDENTS:
The teaching team assignment and homeroom information will NOT be sent to students entering 7th grade who have not completed and submitted to the BMS Health Office a Health Assessment Record Form from a physical examination; the physical must be completed on or after June 1, 2020. For additional information, please visit Health Services Common Forms
Special Event: BMS New Families Orientation 2021-2022
On Wednesday, August 25, 2021, 10-11:30am, the BMS Leadership Team, PTA Presidents and PTA New Families Committee will host an in-person orientation for all new to Westport families grade 6, 7 and 8. This event is for students and parents/guardians to both attend together, in-person, at BMS. All new families will receive an invitation to this event; if you are a new to Westport family and have a student attending BMS, please contact the main office for details if you did not receive your invite.
Special Event: BMS 6th Grade Student Orientation
On Monday, August 30, 2021. BMS will host its Grade 6 Student Orientation. This event will be in-person and is for our 6th grade students only; this event is optional. BMS has three 6th grade teaching teams; we have planned three separate orientations, one event for each 6th grade teaching team. BMS will share students’ individual team placement and homeroom information by email August 27th. We ask that students arrive at orientation knowing their team color, homeroom teacher name and room number. If, for any reason, you do not receive this email on 8/27/21, please contact the main office at 203-341-1500; the main office will provide you with the team placement information including homeroom teacher and location.
- Grade 6 GREEN Team 9-10am
- Grade 6 PURPLE Team 10:30-11:30am
- Grade 6 RED Team 12-1pm
During orientation, students will be provided with an overview of BMS (LINK) and a tour of our school. Students will visit their homeroom location and practice opening their student hallway locker. Here is a helpful video that explains how to open your locker at BMS (LINK). We look forward to seeing your student at BMS on 8/30/21 for this welcoming event!
Teaching Team Leaders
Each of BMS’s 9 teaching teams (3/grade level) have an official team leader. The team leader helps to coordinate the operations of the teaching team and are available to communicate with parents on a variety of issues. If you are in need of assistance, please do not hesitate to contact our team leaders; they are happy to assist you navigate the issue at hand:
- Grade 6 Green Team April Harvey: 203-341-1557
- Grade 6 Purple Team Liz Smith: 203-341-2482
- Grade 6 Red Team Michael LaTorre: 203-341-2477
- Grade 7 Green Team Emily Elterich: 203-341-1538
- Grade 7 Purple Team Kristina Rodriguez: 203-341-1528
- Grade 7 Red Team Andrew Zold: 203-341-1544
- Grade 8 Green Team Caroline Davis: 203-341-1595
- Grade 8 Purple Team Courtney Ruggiero: 203-341-1519
- Grade 8 Red Team Colleen Rondon: 203-341-1587
BMS School Counselors and Accessing Support
Students, parents and guardians can access our school counselors for support and assistance; each school counselor stays with their grade-level for all 3 years of middle school. Here are the 3 BMS school counselors and their grade-level designation during the 2021-2022 school year:
- Grade 6 school counselor: Sara Harding 203-341-2467 firstname.lastname@example.org
- Grade 7 School Counselor Jessica Rabine 203-341-2462 email@example.com
- Grade 8 school counselor: Georgia Orlando 203-341-2494 firstname.lastname@example.org
School Lunch Cashless & Touchless Payment System
Please refer to this document from our food service provider Chartwells: School Lunch Account Setup/Payment
Health and Safety at the School Building
- Protective face masks, hand washing and sanitizer
- Staff and students are required to wear a face mask that securely covers the nose and mouth at all times while in the school building.
- Masks that include a filter outlet/portal through the fabric are not permitted in Westport school; gaiters are also not permitted to be worn in place of a face mask.
- We ask that all students bring 2 masks to school; one to wear and a second for backup
- Music teachers will discuss special requirements with their students depending on their enrollment in band, strings, chorus and music technology.
- BMS has deployed additional signage to help reinforce the wearing of masks indoors, reminders to wash hands and use hand sanitizer when hand washing may not be available at the moment.
- Morning arrival and afternoon dismissal
- Students may arrive at BMS after 8am. Students arriving prior to 8am will not be permitted to enter the building and will not be supervised by our staff. For the afternoon dismissal, students will go straight from their final class of the day directly to their school bus or passenger car; there is no dismissal manager at the middle school level in Westport.
- Hallways and stairways: “Stay to the right and keep moving!”
- Social distancing 3 feet throughout the school
- Students will be assigned a lunch seat with up to 4 students total per table.
- Students may bring lunch to school or purchase from our cafeteria; all food for purchase will be pre-made fresh each day at BMS and will be grab-n-go to keep students flowing through the lunch lines without congregating.
- Students will remove their masks to consume their food; students will be encouraged to eat outside in the cafeteria courtyard (6 students per 6 foot picnic table)
- All students will be required to go outside for a mask break/recess during either the first or second half of their lunch wave
- Lunch tables and seats will be cleaned by our custodial staff prior to the next group of students
- In accordance with district guidelines, BMS will not be welcoming visitors
- Only students and staff will be permitted inside BMS
- Meetings with parents will occur remotely
- Early pickup
- Please make every effort to schedule medical appointments for your child outside the school day
- Parents will be able to pick up their child during the school day, however the process has been amended to keep parents outside at the intercom to complete this process.
Clubs, Activities and Specialty Music Ensembles
We will be sending out updated information relating to our co-curricular activities; there are numerous details to address with our staff prior to making determinations about our clubs and activities and publishing the booklet; once published it will be advertised and posted to the BMS homepage.
PARKING AND DRIVING RULES AT BMS
In our ongoing efforts to improve the safety and security of our parking lots and driving lanes, we are asking all parents to carefully review and adhere to the following rules at all times when visiting the BMS campus:
- THE ‘PULL FORWARD’ RULE
- During student drop-off and pick-up, please drive as far forward as possible; please do not stop in front of the main entrance doors leaving space in front of you.
- DO NOT DROP-OFF STUDENTS IN PARKING LOTS
- Please do not pull your car into the main parking lot to drop off students; please wait patiently in line to drop off students curbside in front of the school building.
- DO NOT PARK IN THE EMERGENCY FIRE LANE
- Parking in the emergency fire lanes for any length of time may place the students and staff at-risk in case of an unexpected event that would necessitate an emergency response. If you are parked in the fire lane, you will not be permitted to enter BMS until you have parked your car in visitor parking.
- AFTERNOON DISMISSAL TRAFFIC PATTERN
- The BMS main entrance driveway becomes one-way into the campus starting at 2:30 p.m.; all passenger car traffic exits by way of Wakeman Farm Drive until the afternoon dismissal process is complete.
- It’s CT State Law to stop for all pedestrians in crosswalks. We want our students to use marked crosswalks to cross roadways; please reinforce this behavior by stopping completely for pedestrians in crosswalks.
- HANDICAPPED PARKING SPACES
- Please do not park or stand in the designated handicapped parking spaces. We have students, parents and guardians who require the use of these reserved spaces.
- PLEASE DRIVE SAFELY - YOUR KIDS ARE HERE!
- Please drive slowly and defensively at all times while at BMS. The BMS/SHS campus experiences significant congestion in the morning before school and in the afternoon around dismissal. Patience is essential; plan accordingly.